When You Can Not Travel to be with Your Loved Ones


By Janneke Koole

Go outside, or sit by an open window or door. Step into the silence and bring an image of the one you love into your mind’s eye. Send them your love.

When you are still, you can feel the slightest of movements in the air, perhaps a gentle breeze, or a smell lighting up your nostrils. Lift your face and feel or know it as the Breath of Life itself touching your face. Open your heart to it. Ask it to send your love, your prayers to your loved one. Know that this Breath crosses all border, enters all spaces, and so provides an irrefutable connection between you and your loved one. Once your love and prayers are sent, take a few breaths and take in the Love that streams back to you within each inhale. Know you and s/he is held inside this stream of Love.

Another time, settle once again inside the stillness of your own inner being. Take some simple breaths to ground and center yourself. Hold your hands, palms open, in front of you. In your mind’s eye, place your loved one inside your open hands. See and feel them surrounded by your love – speak to them all that your heart holds – don’t hold back. The blessing of communication in this way (surrounded by love) can bring no harm. When you are complete, lift those hands up high and send this message via the ever-trustworthy, invisible energy lines of the “Universe’s Love Trails”.

And one more way that is sure to work – use the Sweet Medicine Messenger. Again, it is easiest to do when you are outdoors or by an open window but it can be done anywhere using the power of your imagination, the vehicle of your spirit. Call on one of your favorite birds, we call them the “winged ones”. Choose one that you have confidence in, that can travel the distance, and almost always hits the mark. For example, the hummingbird is one such powerful flyer. Call forth your chosen winged one and ask it to be your messenger. See it right there in front of you – tell it exactly the message of love and blessing you desire to send to your loved one. Tell it where s/he is right now – at home, in the hospital, far away, or in the same town as you are. Ask it to take your message to your loved one. Make sure you sense its agreement and then visualize this messenger going from where you are directly to your loved one. Wherever they are, see the winged one delivering your message and see your loved one receiving it.

No matter which way you send your message, give thanks to Great Spirit for making this communication and inter-connection possible. It is as natural to Creation as the rising of the sun and the waxing/waning of the moon. We are each inter-connected, inter-reliable, and inter-dependent with one another. This current situation is a perfect training ground to learn, test, and experience this reality


Janneke Laughing Willow is a qualified Sweet Medicine SunDance teacher and has taught in Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States since 1990. She continues her practice as a Counselor and Art Therapist. One of her "favorite things" is the application of the Wheels and Keys into creative expressions, tools for empowerment and maps for personal self-growth. Janneke will bring a contagious joy and simple directness to this workshop. She is an authorized teacher, ceremonialist and medicine woman on the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path, an ancient shamanic path of self-healing and self-growth based in Phoenix, Arizona. Janneke is the author of JENNY AND THE BIG OLD OAK TREE, a children’s book about the Five Perceptions and JOURNEYS INTO THE MIRROR, a journal for women.